How Your Mind Really Works (Blog)
Use this thread to discuss the following entry from Steve Pavlina's blog:
How Your Mind Really Works
Fantastic article Steve. Bravo! :D
Verry nice. Bravo!
I bought a couple cheap torchieres from Walmart, which my intellect tells me is obviously the best answer until you do some future lighting overhauls. ;)
As far as routines, some routines are crucial. This blog wouldn't exist if Steve didn't have a writing routine. There are always necessities: workout routines, personal hygiene routines, bill paying routines, sleep routines, etc., that can and should remain constant when they work well.
Meanwhile, you can open yourself up as many other possibilites as you like in the other aspects of your life.
To illustrate, if I moved to New Zealand tomorrow I could still easily exercise daily, keep the same hygenic habits, pay bills on time, etc.
I tend to believe though that just as there are "best practices" with the smaller things in life, like personal hygiene routines (always brush and floss daily) or fixing a hardware issue with a PC (always check the cables first), there are probably also best practices for the larger things in life too, like what sort of career to have, and where to live. The answers might not be as obvious, but they are there.
Always live somewhere peaceful. Always build a career based on service. And so on. Exploration and open mindedness are the tools we use to figure out what the best practices are, in any context.
Heh, when considering the problem of more light, my mind went through all of those common patterns except apathy. Yes, suspicion too, you wily SOB... ;p
Good work Steve. If any of the info for this article came from scientific literature (or the musings of others) I'd love to see it (not because I doubt you, but because I've read similar things and am exceedingly interested in reading more)
I think SunnyBayes will really love this article since it covers what he's been talking about
Great article, Steve!
Here is a brief summary for those who have already read it:
This process is called learning:
Reality ---- Rep Of Reality ---- Invariant Rep
This process is called anticipation:
Invariant Rep ---- New Situation
Question: how to change a flawed
Invariant Rep? Since Invariant means
unchanging, does this mean we have to
make a new Invariant Rep and then replace
the old one with it? Which means we have to
face Reality once again, make a better mental model
of it and then derive the Invariant Rep from it...
One of the best teacher I've had told me:
Every time she learns something new,
she links with knowledge she already has.
And the more links you create,
the faster you'll be able to learn.
A good way to do this is to explain
to yourself the new concept in 3-4 different ways.
Scott's eBook is a good starting point for the type of learning sri mentioned.
Very interesting post, Steve.
It started me thinking about how the effects of habits compare with the mind-numbing effects of routines. Of course, a habit does not have to be routine, one could make a habit of constantly challenging themselves. Still, it would be nearly impossible for someone to be challenging themselves all the time. So maybe the best solution is to find a balance between useful routines, or habits, and challenging experiences.
When writing new articles, I try to avoid too much routine. I write at different times of day with a highly irregular schedule. I don't have set days or times for writing.
Sometimes I'll even head down to the Las Vegas Strip and work on an article while sitting in 4-5 different locations throughout the day. Last month I wrote an article that was partly composed at the Luxor, New York New York, Caesar's Palace, the Venetian, and the MGM. I'd work on it for an hour in one location, then get up and walk to another spot while thinking through the ideas for the next section. It was one of my more memorable writing sessions.
I regard routine as scaffolding. It's good to have a basic structure to each day for practical reasons, but for my core work I like to keep mixing things up, so every day is different in some way.
That was a great in-depth look at intelligence as we know it. Great job on this one as usual.
How we create new invariant reps
First off, great work, Steve! Best article yet.
sri, as for the formation of new invariant reps, I like William James' "How an Individual Settles Into a New Opinion". You'll see how it fits with the concept of invariant representations.
I've been researching a book on this topic for some time, and agree with every word in the article. There's loads of philosophy, psychology, and brain science that all says the same thing. Steve didn't touch on the rComplex and the interplay between the parts of the triune brain, but the role of invariant representations cannot be understated.
That was a very insightful article Steve. You make some points that definitely will make a lot of people go " AHA!".
I have become a regular reader of your blog. It seems like you have a constant flow of new ideas. How do you do it?
Great article really.
I have a few questions though (not specifically for Steve, if anyone want to answer that's great) :
-Are invariant representations the same thing as beliefs? (Or are they a kind of belief) or are they completely different things?
-For those who believe in Sujective Reality (which is a representation of reality), can we say that SR is an invariant representation?
-If we change invariant representations in the same way as we change our beliefs, then will reality be perceived accordingly to these changes ?
(in the article, if I understand well, Steve wrote :
experience ---> representation of reality ----> invariant representation
my question is, is it possible, to do :
invariant representation (counsciously chosen)--->representation of reality --->experiences coeherent with this representation.)
Any input that our brain conceptualises is an invariant representation. That not only includes representations of physical objects, but of thoughts, ideas, and beliefs.
But beliefs are opinions about reality, in other words opinions about those representations. They would be retained as invariant representations, but that doesn't mean all invariant representations are beliefs.
Unless you define perception as belief or opinion. E.g., if you would look at a person and think, "I believe there's a person there," rather than, "There's a person there," then you could consider invariant representations to be beliefs. But most people don't think that way, and I don't believe our brains work that way either. I.e., perception is not optional, we can't choose whether to see a person or not once the signal travels from our eye to our brain, we only choose the label to apply (and even that's not much of a choice once the invariant representation is entrenched).
Since beliefs are stored as invariant representations, then yes, the concept of SR is an invariant representation.
Since our brain's pattern matching abilities work on the invariant representations already stored, then yes, changing those invariant representations would change the way we perceive reality. It would have to be a fairly comprehensive change though; because of the highly interlinked nature of invariant representations, changing one part may have vast repercussions. Our brain will let us know when our perceptions of reality don't match our invariant representations, and we won't like it at all if there's a huge discrepancy.
But that same nature makes it very difficult to change existing representations. We generally need a strong, or frequently repeated impression of something to form a solid invariant representation. And we need a stronger impression to then change it.
And the way neurons work means that when we change an invariant representation, we're actually replacing it, leaving the old in place, which gradually weakens due to lack of stimulation. That it's still there means it can be stimulated again and therefore provide competition for the new one (which is why habits are hard to change).
Anyway, that's my limited, lay person's understanding. Feel free to pick it apart and tell me if I'm wrong (while I go do some research to make sure I'm not just talking ♥♥♥♥♥ ;))
Invariant reminds me of polarity, something else I don't need to know about, thank godness we have choice. :p :D
Yeah! Great post, mase a lot of sense.
I ought to play a lot more of other sports too instead of just football for the better edge in my game.
And good routines are more than the scaffolding, they are the foundation and probably most of the house. The thing is, just don't go building your house before you know what you're doing or it'll fall apart. And make sure to leave some extra room for additions.
Now, if Erin decided to try to be a car mechanic tomorrow, and you decided to give up writing to become a professsional basketball player you would both learn some new contexts, but those wouldn't exactly be the most intelligent decisions.
The careers you've chosen are your best practices. New experiences can guide you towards upgrading those, but the new experiences themselves are not the end all be all, the final practices are. You'll get diminishing returns from constantly trying "something new" rather than using proven techniques.
Best practices do eventually turn into routines, like using a process to get up early, another for cooking brown rice, etc. True intelligence is knowing what your personal best practices are and when to use them, not constantly searching for new ones.
Happy summer solstice everyone, ;)
I LOVE IT!!
good to go
I think your characterizations in comment #14 are on the money.
Good post. This falls in line with some of the other reading I've been doing lately regarding just saying 'yes'. Whenever you are presented with an opportunity or a request and your first instinct is 'no' if you find that that instinct is born out of fear just say 'yes'. This practice not only helps conquer fear but provides the chance to learn in just the manner Steve is describing here.
Computers that learn
Wow, for the past ten years I've been telling everyone who will listen that A.I. should investigate exactly this kind of learning!
I got to believe that the solution to this kind of condensed representations that you call 'invariant representations' is modelling probabilities of interaction sequences. This boils down to having the computer record what information comes in (perceptions) and what goes out (actions) and try to find stochastic patterns that describe what comes in, possibly as a result of what goes out.
These patterns can be used to form expectations about the future (as well as interpretations of the past). Many different possible paths into the future can be evaluated in parallel, and the next action of the learning system can be chosen to optimize the likelihood of adding or revising a pattern. That means that the learning algorithm isn't achieving some externally given preprogrammed goal, it is autonomously trying to learn.
Therefore the name of my A.I. project is: Learning Expectations Autonomously (LExAu).
For my view of the possible implications (in the long term) for the evolution of Mind see:
Thanks for all the really interesting and helpful material on your site! I started tuning myself to the LOA only two weeks ago and it already changed my life completely (for the second time in a few weeks, so I must have been ready for something :) ).
Great article. Finally, IMO, some useful stuff since the "How to Priorize" article. I think you were priorizating your new book, right? :)
Thank you Steve, this was really wonderful.
What you say makes me think. It makes sense to me that beliefs are stored as invariant representations, but that not all invariant representations are belief, as you say.
I understand the concept of invariant representation is slightly different than belief, as it is more about understanding and learning, looking for sense in the patterns we experience in life. I still have to think about it though.
Thanks for your answer.
Also I wanted to add an idea :
As Steve said, the more we seek truth (mainly by experiencing), the more we make strong invariant representations, the more we understand reality. Then, at some point, when we have a very good understanding of reality, could it be that, as some shamans say, we shift from "everything is subjective" (SR), to "everything is symbolic" (meaning we understand the why behind everuthing and every event)?
However, like neural networks and logical 'expert systems', the conceptual framework for their HTMs must be explicitly given. Whereas the whole point of, I think, both Steve Pavlina and me is that when one has a mind one can decide for her-/him-/itself what conceptual framework to use! (See: Take the red pill)
Do you know of anyone else who tries to realise A.I. with built-in fundamental freedom (instead of trying to withhold it from them and start out as adversaries when they finally get it...). It is said that you get what you give, isn't it?
Probably your best yet Steve... I love it... congratulation... you scored again... http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...1/thumbsup.gif
Post a picture of your office
Hey, this may be off topic. As I read the first part of your post, I did visualize your office. Now, I want to see if I was right. Is there anyway you can post a pic of your office?
Here's what I envisioned...
A large room with windows on two sides. They were large windows, ground to floor. (Although this may be improbable based on the lighting issue) A mahogany desk facing away from the window back towards the door leading into the house. Possibly a tree in the corner that I was looking towards (palm or such).
I don't claim to have any extra senses, but I like to endulge my whimsical self once in a while.
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